Data Points for Jan. 26, 2015

Data Points for Jan. 26, 2015

By Modern Healthcare  |  January 24, 2015

Data Points for the week of Jan. 26, 2015, covered the following topics: Medicare, insurance, costs, insurers

CMS posts dialysis ratings as industry protests

CMS posts dialysis ratings as industry protests

By Sabriya Rice  |  January 23, 2015

Consumers can now evaluate the quality of care at more than 5,500 dialysis facilities online with a five-star rating system the CMS rolled out Thursday. The program is part of a broader federal initiative to boost transparency and help Medicare beneficiaries compare quality.

Universal American still bullish on ACOs, as it exits more

By Melanie Evans  |  January 23, 2015

Insurer Universal American further scaled back its participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program in the final months of last year, exiting another six accountable care organizations. The publicly traded health insurer remains the largest single participant in the program.

CMS chief Tavenner's out; politics complicate replacing her

CMS chief Tavenner's out; politics complicate replacing her

By Darius Tahir  |  January 16, 2015

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced Friday that she will be leaving the CMS at the end of February. Her replacement, at least temporarily, will be Andy Slavitt, formerly a UnitedHealth Group executive who is now principal deputy administrator.

Even advanced ACOs struggle to expand model beyond Medicare

By Melanie Evans  |  January 16, 2015

By now, the accountable care organizations in the CMS Innovation Center's Pioneer ACO model were supposed to have shifted half their total business into risk-based contracts by selling the structure they honed in the federal program to Medicaid and private plans.

MedPAC seeks reimbursement rate freeze

By Virgil Dickson  |  January 16, 2015

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has voted unanimously to make a series of recommendations to Congress that would either freeze reimbursements or make them site-neutral. The goal is to potentially save Medicare several billion dollars.

IT headaches await next CMS administrator

IT headaches await next CMS administrator

By Joseph Conn  |  January 16, 2015

The legacy of outgoing CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner will be inextricably intertwined with the complex pursuits of nudging the healthcare industry toward more and better use of information technology and switching to ICD-10 procedure and diagnostic codes.

Here comes this year's Medicare doc-fix exercise

By Paul Demko  |  January 16, 2015

The perennial congressional battle over repealing Medicare's sustainable growth-rate payment formula for physicians will kick off Wednesday. Two days of hearings before the House Energy and Commerce Committee will seek to find common ground on a permanent fix to the despised payment formula.

MedPAC calls for cutting inpatient rehab facility payments

By Virgil Dickson  |  January 15, 2015

A federal panel's recommendation that reimbursement for rehabilitation be the same for inpatient rehabilitation facilities and skilled-nursing facilities is getting immediate pushback from industry stakeholders who say patient care will suffer.

Bill looks to boost Medicare reimbursement for telehealth

By Darius Tahir  |  January 14, 2015

A key House committee has come up with a draft bill calling for Medicare to pay providers the same rates for telehealth services as for comparable in-person visits—as long as it doesn't raise overall costs.

CMS to recognize interventional cardiologists as subspecialty

CMS to recognize interventional cardiologists as subspecialty

By Andis Robeznieks  |  January 09, 2015

Next week, the CMS will recognize interventional cardiologists as a subspecialty, which they say will allow more fair and accurate comparisons of physician performance. In the short run, it means they can bill Medicare for consultations requested by a general cardiology colleague. And for the...

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